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Unit Three: Studying Africa through the Humanities

Module Eleven: African Literatures

Student's Edition

Introduction to Module Eleven: African Literatures

PURPOSE

Module Eleven: African Literatures will introduce students to the beauty and diversity of African literatures. The lesson will allow students to read works of literature from Southern, West, East, North, and Central Africa. Students will also be exposed to the different genres of African literatures. Poems by Zimbabwean author Charles Mungoshi make up the first activity that focuses on Southern Africa. From the West African countries of Niger and Nigeria, students will be asked to read and listen to folk tales in the second activity. An excerpt from a novel by Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong'o is included as an example of East African literature in the third activity. A short story from Sudan is discussed in Activity Four, and in Activity Five students will read excerpts from an autobiography by Moroccan author Fatima Mernissi. Finally, students will read part of a play from Tanzania.

In the teacher's edition of the module, you will find information about the history of African literature, the authors, and additional sources for reference and classroom purposes. Each activity features discussion questions that the teacher can use or ignore. Answers to the questions can be written down and filed in the Exploring Africa Journal, or used as the basis for discussions about the literature.

FOCUS QUESTIONS

  1. What types of literatures and literary genres do we find being produced by African writers?
  2. What are some of the themes explored in African literatures?
  3. Who are a few of the authors producing literature in Africa?
  4. How can we learn more about African literatures?

OBJECTIVES

After completing this lesson, students will have gained the following:

  1. An appreciation for the diversity of literatures written by African authors.
  2. An understanding of a few of the themes explored in literature from Africa.
  3. Practice in reading comprehension.
  4. Knowledge of different literary genres.

Go to Module Overview or one of the activities in this lesson.

  1. Reading African Poetry
  2. African Folktales
  3. African Novels
  4. African Short Stories
  5. African Autobiography
  6. African Drama
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